Second time around for city firms at the Legal Awards

(L-R) Iftekar Hoque, Sejal Mehta, Gillian McAllister, James Tait and Paul Ray from Browne Jacobson

After narrowly missing out at last year’s event, Browne Jacobson has been named Law Firm of the Year (16+ partners) at the Birmingham Law Society Legal Awards.

The firm beat off stiff competition from fellow finalists DAC Beachcroft, DLA Piper, Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and SGH Martineau to collect the award.

The win rounds up a successful year for Browne Jacobson. Last year the Birmingham firm posted a record set of financial results with a 22 per cent increase in turnover. It also added a number of new companies to its client roster, including Standard Life and Guoman Thistle Hotels.

There was also recognition for Buller Jeffries, which walked away with the award for Law Firm of the Year (5 to 15 partners). The firm was a finalist in the same category at last year’s event but were pipped by Sydney Mitchell.

Legal aid firm The Community Law Partnership received praise for its cutting edge work in housing law by collecting the award for Law Firm of the Year (sole practitioner to 4 partners).

Other winners on the night included Rankeshwar Batta, of Anthony Collins Solicitors LLP, who won Partner of the Year, and John Randall QC, of St Philips Chambers, who picked up Barrister of the Year. Assistant/Associate of the year went to Polly Sweeney, from Irwin Mitchell Solicitors, and Simon Bond, from Challinors, was awarded Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

Paul Chaplin, of Robin Simon LLP, collected the award for Chartered Legal Executive of the year, after his nomination in the same category at last year’s awards.

Solicitors from Wragge & Co LLP celebrated a double triumph, with Richard Goold being named International Lawyer of the Year and Helen Taylor Trainee Solicitor of the Year.

The night's winners

Andrew Lancaster, Birmingham Law Society president, said: “All of this year’s winners have demonstrated outstanding performance over the last 12 months, and I would like to congratulate them on their achievements.

“The high calibre of finalists at this year’s awards has continued to showcase the superb legal talent we have within our region.”

A special Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Roger Coates of Buller Jeffries for the outstanding contribution he has made to the legal profession.

“Roger is thoroughly deserving of this award,” said Andrew Lancaster.

“He continues to practice at the very highest level and has an undisputed reputation in his specialist area of law. He is a true ambassador for the industry and for our region.”

More than 570 people from the region’s legal and business community attended the event at The ICC on March 22nd.

As well as the awards, a raffle prize draw raised money on the night for Acorns Children’s Hospice.

The awards were sponsored by Brown Shipley Private Banking, Chiltern Railways, The College of Law, e-know.net, Giles Insurance Brokers, Jaguar UK, Landmark Information Group Limited, No5 Chambers, Royal Bank of Scotland, Severn Trent Searches, St Philips Chambers and Wesleyan for Lawyers.

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